Blog Archives

Gatekeepers PF2 Campaign Index

This is an updated index of all the articles I’ve written about my “Gatekeepers” campaign for Pathfinder Second Edition.

(The “Smoke Pine Taven,” in Tidegate. … Yes, “Taven.” Art by Asaneee.)

RULES ARTICLES

How I Set Up My New PF2 Game, “Gatekeepers.” Part 1: Rules Options
The initial list of houserules and optional rules the campaign began with.

How I Set Up My New PF2 Game, “Gatekeepers.” Part 2: Houserules
The campaign begins with a few pure houserules in place to alter the feel and flow of the game system.

WORLDBUILDING ARTICLES

As soon as they exist, they’ll go here.

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Supers Idea: EuroVigil

Be it a comics pitch, background worldbuiding idea, or a supers adventure sketch, here’s a quick rundown on the concept of EuroVigil.

The EuroVigil Hero Contest has been held every year, in one form of another, since 1946. Hosted by the European Broadcasting Guild (EBG), it was originally an opportunity for the ad hoc WWII costumed heroes to gain greater visibility and compete to be members of the Peers, the Eurpoean Superhero Group set up to ensure the escape Nazi villains of the era would be unable to clone fallen madmen and tyrants, build factories to produce hordes of evil robots, train cyborg wolf armies, or unleash mind-control devices, all of which were surprisingly common concerns at the time.

Each hero for the EuroVigil is nominated by local agencies in their home country, the process for which can vary wildly. In France, it is determined by popular public acclaim. Germany trusts the Federal Minister for Empowered Affairs. In England, it remains one of the legal prerogatives of the Monarch to choose an entrant, though the decision is normally vetted and researched at great length before an announcement is made. Norway leaves it to their oldest serving Peer to select a candidate. Greece, Italy, and Spain all have a series of regional contests, and so on.

One selected, the contestants are broken into “Flights,” each of which is assigned to a region of Europe half the time, and to the Peer’s training facility half the time. While assigned to a region, each Flight is assisted in finding and handling crimes, disasters, and public appearances. When at the Peers facility, the heroes are tested in a variety of ways, from obstacle courses to sparring matches to being pitted against various simulated common dangerous situations (burning buildings, hostage rescue, sinking boats, and so on).

After each weekly set of events is finished television and radio broadcasts are put together to show highlights, and nearly all the raw footage can be viewed online. Each participating country then issues a set of votes, half determined by a panel of experts (often including retired heroes, firefighters, and civilian oversight groups), and half by the popular vote of the country’s population. The lowest vote-getters are cut from the program immediately, and a new week of events begins.

Though the program has remained popular for 3/4 of a century, there are criticisms. Often charismatic or kitschy contestants receive more votes than boring but effective heroes. National and international politics are seen as playing an oversized role in early selection and the editing of each week’s broadcasts. Some entrants are accused of seeking fame and fortune rather than a life of service and helping others. However, most winners do receive and accept an invitation to become one of the Peers, now the official European Union superhero team, and numerous runners-up have attracted enough support to become successful major international heroes.

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#MotiePitch: Spread

Or rather than a movie pitch, you could use this as the plot to an adventure, a backstory, or a campaign kickoff.

Spread

A new viral breaks out. It has a very slow incubation period, very few external symptoms, and requires personal contact to spread, so by the time it is detected it exists worldwide, and no one is sure how many people have it.

People who get it are largely immune to bacteria, fungus, parasites, and other viruses. Also, they can recognize each other by touch, and have a primal urge to care for and protect each other. They aren’t telepathic and don’t always agree on anything else (including the best way to protect and care for each other), but they do all feel “curing” them, or slowing the spread of the virus, is bad. And some “Spreaders” feel their best bet is to infect as many people as possible, so the number of them that want to protect each other goes up, even though that requires lots of close personal contact.

Meanwhile, governments of the world begin to realize Spreaders could mean the end of the existing global power structure. First they try to deny Spreaders have any benefits, then briefly hammer on the truth unknowns — will Spread mutate? What are the long-term effects? But quickly, it becomes a combination of clanism and competing narratives. Stories claim some Spreaders have begun attacking anyone not infected in zombie-like biting sprees, but no one knows if it’s true and, even if it is, how common it is or what provocations might be present. More believable reports claim in in 1 million people die slow, agonizing deaths if they catch the Spread, but even that can’t be proven to the masses one way or another.

Spread becomes a new global faction, growing through a dedicated outreach program of its members without any core leader, debatable ideology, or unified message. Spreaders claim universal infection would mean utopia. Ethical objectors say much too much is unknown about how Spread will impact humanity over generations, philosophers object to the biological compunction of it overriding free will, and uninfected people in power simply have no interest in losing their positions to a virus.

Can a compromise be found, or will humanity destroy itself because of an infection that makes it want to selflessly help itself?

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I have a Patreon. It helps me carve out the time needed to create these blog posts, and is a great way to let me know what kind of content you enjoy. If you’d like to see more of my movie/setting pitches (or more rules for various game systems, fiction, game industry essays, game design articles, worldbuilding tips, whatever!), try joining for just a few bucks and month and letting me know!

#SettingPitch: Dwarf Planets, Dwarf Gods

Just a quick idea for a scifi-horror or urban modern fantasy campaign.

DWARF PLANETS, DWARF GODS

Each planet is a god… but only as long as they are revered as planets. Pluto was the gatekeeper of the realms of the dead. Its power was vast, but focused entirely on keeping the vile undying of the extrasolar void away from the worlds of light.

Now? Now Pluto is only a dwarf planet, and thus only a dwarf god. The civilizations of Earth have noticed as things get worse and worse, but don’t understand why. Small vile things from the cosmic true vacuum have been slipping past, and people are affected. But that was just the first cracks. Years have past. Pluto is tiring.

It’s about to get much, much worse. And much, much more obviously supernatural.

The mummies of Mars are rising. The vampiric tombs crawling along Mercury’s dayside are slowing, inching closer to the darkness that can awaken them. The ghoul spores of the world that became the asteroid belt are stirring. The angry Red Specter of Jupiter is awakening, and preparing to burst forth from his cyclonic cage.

The other god planets are preparing to do what they can. To empower people, organizations, and creatures to defend against the growing threat. But each god planet is already has its full attention and power dedicated to other concerns. Jupiter can spare little attention for the Red Specter, else the infernal comets it deflects from life-bearing worlds will smash into the inner system. Saturn’s rings must kept the ecliptic harmonic in balance, lest the constants of the current universe vary.

The god planets will help where they can, but it is humanity that demoted Pluto. It is humanity that must bear the brunt of the consequences.

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ShadowFinder Supporting Players

We’re coming up on a year I have been working on ShadowFinder, though not with the regularity I’d like. Because I have big way-behind projects after carving out a period of time to try to “finish” it (which, for various reasons didn’t do anything like get it finished), I’ve pretty much been restricted to jotting down notes when ideas come to me, and sneaking in some work on the project as blog posts (since I have blog subscribers who have already paid me for this content, so I’m obligated to keep doing this along with the other projects I am obligated to do, as opposed to ShadowFinder which is entirely optional).

But even slow and sporadic progress is progress. And today, I’m sharing some conceptual material I wrote early on in the process. I wanted to think about the types of characters I would want to be able to have as supporting players (and, perhaps, PCs). Things like this are among my guiding ideas when I work on a game setting or expansion — conceptually what do I want to be able to make with these rules and any advice that comes with them?

Earlton and Alyssal

Earlton Fust is an old, old zombie. He cannot see, smell, feel, or taste, and his hearing is weak. But for all that he is slow and clumsy, he possesses vast strength and resilience.

Alyssal Rein is a very recent ghost. Though she cannot be wounded, moments that would have harmed her living self still cause her to flee into the umbra. In fact, she can barely affect the physical world, her powers largely limited to her senses, speaking to the dead, and the ability to possess corpses.

Corpses like Earlton Fust.

She can literally become his eyes and ears, feeding him her senses, animating his flesh to be swift and nimble. In turn, his flesh can impact the mortal world in ways she cannot, his tongue speak words she wishes spoken. It is a strange arrangement, two dead souls operating in the world of the living, but they both appreciate its benefits.

Earlton was a private detective a century ago. Alyssal was murdered by an unknown foe a year ago.

They fight crime.

[I see Earlton as a specific build for a mechanic character with the exocortex option, except the “exocortex” is the ghost Alyssal. That leads to needing rules about mechanics that are magic-based rather than technology-based, which can then also be used for magical girls, ring wielders, and maybe lycanthropes. Which begins to sound like an alternate class, which is fine, I have technicians for most of what mechanics do with tech, and with a few tweaks the mechanic drone option can become a pet class that summons a spirit to fight for them, like an eidolon…]

The Sleepwalker

Michar Micharland, known in some circles as The Sleepwalker, knows the real world is one free of magic and monsters. So, despite his memories, he rejects the idea that he was hit by a bus, killed, and brought back to life with eldritch powers.

Well, he thinks the bus part probably happened.

Which means if he’s not dead (and this seems too  weird to be either heaven or hell) then he must be in a coma, and everything he is experiencing is just his brain firing off random neurons to keep itself amused until he wakes. If he wakes.

So, he has no fear. No concern. He believes to his core that everyone he meets is just part of his coma-induced dreams. None of it is real. Nothing can actually damage him, even if he feels pain. (Flashes of the pain from the bus impact leaking into his subconscious, maybe). He believes he’s walking through an imaginary world where none of his actions have consequences.

So, he helps as many people as he can. Because that’s his idea of a fulfilling dream. Doing anything else would make him feel like an ass.

[The Sleepwalker could be a mystic with a connection to dreams, or a warlock using my new warlock class. But he also needs something that lets him lean on his belief system, even if it’s wrong, to overcome things like pain and fear. That sounds a lot like a feat or archetype which could then be used for people with strong religious convictions, or the ability to fall back on scientific rigor, or who think they are the Chosen One.]

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The Tragic Atheneum. #WelcometotheArmitage

You can find more information about the mysterious Armitage Building on my Facebook and Twitter, under the hashtag #WelcometotheArmitage. Some other folks have joined in under that hashtag, as well. This is one of several longer pieces I started about the building, but have yet to finish or decide what to do with.

The Tragic Atheneum

On the 10th floor of the eclectic Armitage Building, in room 1016, is the Tragic Atheneum. It’s door is marked with “10*1016” in gold paint, and an image of a quill pen. The door is unlocked from 3 am to 11:11 pm, and no force seems able to get past it when it’s not locked. Those waiting for it to open do not note any sound, or see anyone tending to the door. At 2:59:59 am, it is locked. At 3, it is not.

The Atheneum is one of the biggest rooms in the building, decorated in a heavy, overstuffed Victorian Gothic style. The gold leaf crown molding repeats “10*10*16” endlessly, there’s a small counter no one is ever manning near the only apparent door in or out, there’s no sign of any windows, and the interior is filled with a labyrinth of bookcases and cabinets that you can, literally, become lost in. Here, filed in ways no mortal has yet to comprehend and with constantly shifting positions, is every written book, story, and article that could have been, but wasn’t. There is no staff, but the Atheneum is meticulously clean and maintained. A simple ledger sits at the front counter, marked on the cover with the title “Million-Million-Million-Milton-Monkey-Marginalia” has columns for who is checking out a book, what book is checked out, and when it will be returned.

There’s a 1921 World Victory Pen Company ball point inkwell pen by the ledger. It never runs out of ink, and anyone who takes it out of the room loses it, as it always returns to the counter. Nothing else successfully writes in the ledger.

Faded instructions on a small index card notes at the counter all returned books must be placed on the return table, and no book may be borrowed from the return table. Of course, you books are removed by someone from the return table and refiled, and you can’t always find the same book again. A sign warns that return dates must be within 28 days, by 11:11 pm of the last day, and that tardiness is strictly forbidden. No one at the Armitage knows anyone who has ever been late turning a book back in. A few people who used the Atheneum and were habitually late or disorganized have simply disappeared but no one knows for sure if that is related.

Any print media from the Tragic Atheneum that is taken from the Armitage grounds becomes so faded as to be unreadable, though within the Armitage’s lights the print is perfectly clear. Electronic and recording devices do not record words from Atheneum texts, whether typed in, spoken aloud, or photographed. Written copies of such texts fade immediately if removed from the Armitage, and are not restored upon returning, and fade within weeks regardless.

Nonresidents visiting the Armitage seem unable to find room 1016, even if escorted by a resident. They can see and read texts residents have in their rooms, or any of the many cozy reading nooks, lounges, and studies scattered throughout the building, but only retain information gained in a general way, and never remember any twist or noteworthy conclusion. Residents do, but get a general sense it’d be a bad idea to spread that information around.

Sometimes, alternate version of religious texts are found within the Tragic Atheneum, but they are always bound shut by chain cages, and marked with a tag indicating they are not to be checked out. A few have done so anyway. One of those was last seen fleeing from the lost god’s suite on the 72nd floor.

The others have never been seen again.

#WelcometotheArmitage

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#SettingPitch: “Underground States of America”

Absolutely nothing I release today is going to get any attention whatsoever, given the new playtest for the Worlds Most Popular ttRPG went live this afternoon. So, I am taking this as an opportunity to do whatever I want!

Underground States of America was an idea I had in late 2019, while living in Evansville, Indiana. It sparked with the concept of having subterranean Brain Eaters in a PostApocalyptic setting that everyone was scared of, but turned out to just be Hoosiers who still enjoyed pigbrain sandwiches. From there, I began to think about what the underground in every state would look like and, for no good reason whatsoever, started in Kansas.

I was never sure what I was going to do with this. Thirdparty campaign setting for the spacebased Finder rog I had helped create? Game world for the system I have been working on ever since I thought of the Adventures of the League of Women Spelunkers, in 2016? Actually write a novel like I have meant to for 30 years?

Then I took on other projects, and stopped having time to do anything with this nugget, at least so far. I hope you enjoy this file from my archives.

Nothing here is Open Game Content, this post is not covered by the Open Game License.

U.S.A Underground States of America

No one older than the age of 3 survived whatever sent all of Lebanon, Kansas (including a shockingly large number of politicians, scientists, and military), to flee to Shelter 48, and none of those ever knew what had happened to cause the evacuation. They were raised by clearly-repurposed automated systems, which often tried to pluck eggs from under the children, or check them for Swine Fever. Shelter 48 had canned and powdered food aplenty, power, clothes, tools, medical supplies, movies, novels, manuals… but nothing with a year on it. Very little with name brands. No firearms. No *explanation* of firearms, or gunpowder, or nitro, or fireworks. Lots of bodies, though. Burned, skeletonized, mummified, rotted, and some twisted like they’d been turned to putty, placed in taffy-pulling machines, then dried out into the consistency of old leather.

Still with watches, glasses, nametags, and even money But only pennies, quarters, and golden Sacagawea dollars, all shiny and new when found, and all with XXXX where a date should be.

That first Orphan Generation was big, though no one is sure of the exact number. The best guess is around 5,000 children were in the 100 nurseries when Shelter 48 came online, each with their own Sigil, a small distinct black-line shape on their wrist.

The Big Clock says it’s been 54 years since Shelter 48 came online. And it keeps counting up in years, months, days, hours, minutes, down to thousands of a second which spin by so fast no one can tell if there are actually numbers on those dials. And from 7 pm to 7 am, by the Big Clock, the Main Lights get dimmer and dimmer, though never completely going out, and then brighter and brighter

Very few of the Orphan Generation are still around, but their children and grandchildren, and even a few great-grandchildren are. Every child is born with all the sigils of their parents and grandparents on their wrist. Some great-grandchildren have their great-grandparent’s sigils, some don’t, and some have a few and not others. But you don’t need to check someone’s wrist to know if they share a sigil with you. If you smell a sigilkin, or touch their skin with yours, you have a flood of affection, protection, trust and familiarity fill you. But not sexual attraction. Indeed, the idea of being sexually attracted to your sigilkin is… well, it’s just gross. Nauseating, in fact.

Shelter 48 had numerous huge metal doors. It took a long time to find them all, given the almost-23,000 acres of tunnels, dorms, nurseries, warehouses, sick bays, factories, hydroponics, classrooms, databases, labs, libraries, theaters, parks, air scrubbers, power transformers, jail cells, observation posts, pools, gyms, sports fields, archery ranges, go-cart courses, mushroom farms, indoor skydiving shafts, meat printers, knife dispensaries, pill vendors, obstacle courses, computerized therapy and career guidance offices, pillow pits, quiet rooms, loud rooms, cryogenics repositories, cybersurgery autodocs, insect zoos, suicide booths, 21+ robot-monitored red-light halls and toy rentals, thumbprint-coded safety deposit boxes, courtrooms, trial-by-combat rooms, companion animal adoption centers, snorkeling courses, self-serve horrorhelm and deprivation stations, psionic activation chambers, and the periodic weirdly lit dodecahedral-shaped RONKUs (Rooms Of No Known Use).

None of them opened easily. But over 5 decades, with books and screens and machine shops, most of them have been forced open or torn apart. None lead up. Indeed, nothing found ever even suggests there *is* an “up.” But there are more tunnels, and chambers, and shelters, including those that claim to be located under Caldwell, Ellsworth, Kansas City, Lincoln, Leavenworth, Douglass, Fort Scott, and Wichita. Sadly, none of those have done as well as Shelter 48. Shelter 16 under Caldwell is the source of endless corpses (human and otherwise) infected and animated by weird fungi. Shelter 67 under Leavenworth has turned to cannibalistic warfare between 7 factions. Shelter 104 under Witchita, the largest encountered to date, is a dangerous ruin of run-amok robotics, carnivorous roaches, mole-boars, psionic ant colonies, and apparently one madman called Rawhand wearing a Richard Nixon mask and attacking people with an atomic-battery-equipped power drill he carries in massive, gnarled, skinless hands.

Several smaller Shelters simply had their populations fail to thrive as well as Shelter 48, and survive by trade and hiring out as mercenaries, workers, and anything else they are willing to be paid for. Some non-shelter Chambers have been turned into homesteads by groups fleeing on failed Shelter or another, or decided to carve their own way rather than bow to whatever ruling party controlled their point of origin.

Outside the Shelters and Homesteads, are thousands of rooms, tunnels, caves, and waterways both natural and man-made crossing an area of at least 90,000 square miles, all underground. Not only has it not all been mapped, but cave-ins often block old paths, and sometimes open new ones. Ancient, apparently indestructible and self-motived digger machines called Zom-bore-nies bore out new tunnels, or clear obstructions… apparently at random. Sometimes, a floor gives way, to reveal part of another level lower down.

There are the Long Ducts, which stretch so far from the edge of the known Underground that no one has gotten to the end of them and returned. Long ducts are often collections of related and interconnected tunnels and shafts, all running parallel. They are also often overrun by caustic slime-molds, scavenger gangs, raider camps, and the hallucinogenic electrified twisted vine-cables that someone dubbed Black Lotus, and which no Shelter book gives any information about.

There are the Dropshafts, that lead down. Some Dropshafts obviously lead to warehouses, and have Homesteads set up to control them, or outposts of more violent Shelters. Others go so far down, no rope anyone has found or crafted can bear the weight of a person to go far enough to reach the bottom. Most softly blow fresh, cold air. Some belch gray stinging fog. At least one smells of brimstone, and is guarded by batwinged cyborg mandrake roots. New Dropshafts have been showing up more frequently of late, sometimes with a floorplate just disappearing one day, and a new shaft replacing it.

There are rumors of new groups being spotted, claiming to be from Her Royal Majesty’s Subterranean Expeditionary Force, or Empire State Bunker AA-5. Some objects with markings like that show up in the hands of roving junk dealers, but most folks assume they’re fakes.

Though the Empire State thing that might have been a pistol, once, sure got everyone’s attention.

No one much cares how any of this came about. The few who do haven’t found any good explanations, just more questions. But it is what it is. These are the Underground States of America. This is your world.

The past is the past. What are you going to do to ensure your future?

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Random Cool-Sounding Science-Fantasy Terms

No, this isn’t going to be as focused (or authentic) as my Revised, Partial List of Very Fantasy Words (which can be found here), but if you need jumping off points for soft science-technobabble, science-fantasy black-box-magic, or technology so advanced it’s indistinguishable from magic, these may be good places to start.

A few of these can be put together to maybe mean something, but don’t count on it (or feel limited by it).

Arcasement

Asymmetric Chronal Matrix

Decoherence Canon

Depleted Oragone

Eldrion

Enriched Orichalcum

Exterociter

Focal Inflection

Half-Death Decay Rate

Haser (H.A.S.E.R; Hex amplification by stimulated enchantment of radiation)

Inertial Converter

Inverse Reactive Force

Logarithmic Casing

Neogenic Incursion

Phrenic Bus Bar

Picoites

Prefabulated Amulite

Positronic Impulsor

Psionic Accumulator

Q-Shaped Helix

Quantum Coherence

Radiopsytronic

Resublimated Vril

Scry Shielding

Sinusodial Transmission

Spellation Particle

Spinal-Mounted Primary

Subcritical Thiotim Breeder

Subspace Decay

Superstring Equilibrium

Transadiate/Transaditation

Void Circuit

Warp Plasma

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Mighty Justiciar’s League: The Green Knight

Jessica Steele was raised with high expectation by her wealthy parents. They knew she could do anything she set her mind to, and they expected her to set her mind to being rich. They arranged for her to get into every gifted and talented program, every extraordinary summer camp, every corporate internship — whether she wanted to or not. Her parents assured her they didn’t care if she was a lawyer, a doctor, a CEO, or a judge — she could be whatever she wanted, as long as put her in charge and made her vast sums of money.

What Jessica Steele wanted was to help people. So when her engineering and material sciences degrees turned out to be her path to working for nonprofits and humanitarian groups, her parents disowned her.

She was thrilled.

She set about trying to make the world a better place by directly addressing human misery, especially natural disasters, and loss of personal mobility. A genius engineer without peer, she spent her career designing exosuits to protect first-responders and augment their ability to help in disaster situations, and to serve as mobility and qualify-of-life enhancements for people who for whatever reason needed help being able to move freely and care for themselves. Her more modest designs were often adopted by companies for those pruprosed, but she had to work on her pie-in-the-sky projects on her own time and using her limited financial means, because she beleived in designing beyond the limits of current technology. Her best ideas were spectacular, but she had yet to find a functioning power source to make them work.

When the heroine Thriae realized the planetary-scale villains Ægishjálmur, Disir, and Hodmedod had formed an alliance to invade the Earth and turn Empire City into a pan-dimension beachhead, she called every hero she could find to aid in stopping them, famously including Huntsman and Stormhammer. The battle that waged through Empire City crashed right into the office building where Steele did her private work, and civilians were hurt, trapped, and in danger. Rather than save herself, Steele immediately set about saving everyone she could, and coordinating to evacuate the area. In desperation, Steele grabbed some of her untested equipment that had extreme power needs, jacked it into a broken power main, and despite the risk to herself used it to rescue civilians trapped in collapsed sections of the building.

At the exact same time, the Spectrum Corps (who send sets of 7 Spectrum Weapons to each of the 667 Cosmic Anchors that stabilize the space-time continuum) concluded that the attack on Empire City could pose a direct threat to the Cosmic Anchor on Earth. None of the last wave of Spectrum Agents on Earth being active, the Spectrum Corps sent a new wave of Spectrum Weapons, each of which sought out its best possible wielder. Steele’s heroism caused her to be granted the Grün Zweihänder, making her Spectrum Agent Green.

Steele realized the sword could power her most advanced armor, and successfully saved everyone she was aware of trapped or hurt. Then, the invasion still ongoing, she immediately joined the fight. Later, she become a founding member of the Mighty Justiciar’s League.

(Art by Jacob Blackmon)

NEMESES
The Green Knight’s major foes include the Amber Warlord, Blue Knight, Necromancer Noir (all Spectrum Corps Agents), Gray Guardsman (a rogue military agent with a suit of powered armor that can neutralize Spectrum Weapons), Decker Damocles (A Chaos Telepath working to destroy the Cosmic Anchor), The Color Out of Space (An ancient split-off of the Spectrum Corps), Piper Steele (The girl Jessica’s parents adopted when they disowned her, who wants to prove her desire to rule everything makes her better than Jessica), the Jarl, Slaymaster, Plasmaman, Megagunmech, Fade, Croc King, Jacoline Glaive (international arms and mercenary dealer), and, more than any other, Chainbreaker Master of the Chains of Power.

PLOTLINES
Favored plotlines include Devil in the Painkillers, Enemies at the Gates, Green City, The Grün Guards, Lights of the Round Table, Origins of the Spectrum!, Revenge of the Jarl, Verte Challenge, Verte Restored, Verte Twilight, Weapon Wars, and Zweihänder Zero.

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The Mighty Justiciar’s League

Jacob Blackmon and I will be doing more with this group in time (for Mutants & Masterminds and ICONS, is the current plan, with Mike Lafferty’s help), but I like sharing bits of this new supers world and it’s biggest and most powerful hero group, the Mighty Justiciar’s League, as it develops.

Here’s the current lineup.

(Art and visual design by Jacob Blackmon; characters and art direction by Owen K.C. Stephens)

From Left to Right, they are:

Thrae
A heroine who has been fighting supernatural and fascist threats since the 1930s, Thrae is gifted with “Melissa’s Sting,” and nearly a century of experience and training. She is bulletproof, superhumanly strong, carries and indestructible spear, flies, and can shrink down to the size of a bee, gaining a ranged blast power when that size.
She also called forth the heroes who became the founding members of the Mighty Justiciar’s League in order to stop a great disaster she saw unfolding, and was the first member and chairperson of that organization.

Stormlad
An eoten orphan taken in, trained, and raised as his own son by the Giant Emperor Ægishjálmur, one of the greatest of Stormhammer’s nemeses. Ægishjálmur plotted to set him against Stormhammer once he was of age, but Stormlad eventually saw through to Ægishjálmur’s true nature and tried to prevent him from killed innocent mortals. Ægishjálmur sought to destroy Stormlad, but was stopped by Huntsman, Stormshield, and Stormhammer, the last embracing Stormlad as kin and placing to be raised with the same mortal parents who raised him.
Stormlad is not as strong or tough as Stormhammer or Stormshield, and has no divine powers, but has a beginning mastery of rune magic allowing him to do things they cannot. He is a senior member of the Young Justiciars, and thus a reserve member of the Mighty Justiciar’s League.

Stormhammer
The Last Aisir, Stormhammer is powerful beyond the ken of mortals. He bears the rune Úr on his chest to mark his name, Vænn, meaning Hope. He is the strongest and most resilient of all known heroes, the storms obey his divine will, and his eyes and ears cannot be deceived. Only shards of shattered Mjolnir weaken him. He is among the heroes summoned by Thriae to stop a great disaster she saw unfolding, and became a founding member of the Mighty Justiciar’s League.

Stormshield
Eirwind, daughter of Queen Freya Valkyr, Stormshield is the Last Valkyrie. Raised by Helalok to ensure a valkyrie would remain to carry Stormhammer’s slain form to Valhalla, she is Queen of Valkyries, has the strength and might of a goddess, is commander and guardian of the Honored Dead, and inheritor to the hair and armor of Sif, and the artifact-shield Svalinn. She was unwilling to take Stormhammer’s life unjustly, turned from Helalok, and joined the Mighty Justiciar’s League.

Green Knight
Jessica Steele is the current Green Knight, an agent of the Spectrum Corps (who send sets of 7 Spectrum Weapons to each of the 667 Cosmic Anchors that stabilize the space-time continuum). Earth has had many waves of Spectrum Corps agents sent over the centuries, with each agent in each wave deciding for themselves how best to keep the Cosmic Anchor secure. Jessica Steele is a genius engineer who spent her career designing exosuits to protect first-responders and augment their ability to help in disaster situations, but had yet to find a functioning power sources for her most potent designs. While helping evacuate civilians in the disaster that caused Thriae to call upon those who would form the Mighty Justicier’s League, which occurred exactly as the Spectrum Corps was assigning a new set of Spectrum Weapons to Earth, Steele’s heroism caused her to be granted the Grün Zweihänder, making her Spectrum Agent Green. She realized the sword could power her most advanced armor, and immediately joined the fight, later becoming a founding member of the Mighty Justiciar’s League.

Huntsman
The adopted then orphan survivor of a wealth family who were killed by huntsman spiders guarding a secret land his parents hoped to raid for antiquities and exploit when he was a child, Huntsman was saved with an experimental antivenin that granted him spiderlike abilities, including the ability to process input from 8 different inputs (though he had to have a helmet designed to input such data, as he didn’t grow extra eyes), and superhuman strength, speed, and balance. He has given away the majority of his parents fortune, and become Huntsman to ensure the privileged and powerful don’t tread on justice and fairness the way his family did. In addition to his mutated enhancements, he has dedicated his life to being a trained criminologist and tracker. He is among the heroes summoned by Thriae to stop a great disaster she saw unfolding, and became a founding member of the Mighty Justiciar’s League.

NEMESES
Since it’s inception, the Mighty Justiciar’s League has been the target of multiple major foes and fiendish organizations, including the Lawbreaker Legion (formed of notable foes of all the Justiciar’s members), The Morlock King (a time-travelling cannibal monarch from 100,000 years in the future), the Crime Church (an ancient cult who literally worship lawbreaking), the Conquering Star (a sentient star that runs an evil empire of fusion entities that wish to turn all matter into plasma), the Jotunn Guard (super-powered giants and Ægishjálmur’s interdimensional strike force), Ultriac (the ultimate intelligence, an AI wishing to destroy all life, which was created by an ex-Justiciar when trying to prove biological heroes were too variable to be trusted), Penumbro (the Shadow God, who wishes to crush the light of hope), Doctor Future (a time travelling genius and android-maker who believes the Justiciars must be destroyed to humanity will toughen up enough to avoid being conquered by the Morlock King), Exergy (the cosmic embodiment of all the unused potential in the universe), Crimson Brigade (a now-rogue spacefaring peacekeeping force created by the Spectrum Corps before the Spectrum Weapons) , Korgath Vralk (an ancient reptilian sorcerer from a billion-year-old lost civilization from early earth), Genghis Kong (a super-genius gorilla psychic and conqueror), The Central Assassination Industry (superkillers-for-hire), Fimbulwinter (the personification of endless winter and night), the Slaugh (shapeshifting ancient sorcerous aliens), O.P.T.I.C. (Organization for Powerful Technologies, Intelligences, and Construction), the Madalief (crime cartel), the Kruthe (hostile and warlike colonizing alien species), Dark Justiciar (undead versions of the Justiciar’s from an alternate reality where the undead rule supreme), and the Demo Team (thug villains for hire).

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